Posts Tagged ‘C&O 1309’

A Weekend That Exceeded Expectations: 5

October 28, 2022

We started our walk to Brush tunnel from Helmstetter’s Curve at 10:45 a.m. on Sunday, arriving at the tunnel at 11:14 a.m.

Again, we encountered hikers and bikers on our trek to the tunnel, inside and outside and on the other side.

Before the train arrived we were joined by a rail photographer from Buffalo, New York.

Just after 12:15 p.m.the train popped into the tunnel. Fifty-five seconds later it popped out with the steamer’s smoke pulled out with it as in the final photos. What a conclusion to a fantastic weekend.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

A Weekend That Exceeded Expectations: Part 3

October 26, 2022

I found that our weekend in Cumberland, Maryland, chasing Chesapeake & Ohio 2-6-6-2 on the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad would prove to have a flurry of passenger train activity within walking distance of our hotel.

On the afternoon of Oct. 22, a Saturday, the passenger train with the 1309 returned to the Western Maryland passenger station just before 4:30 p.m.

The first five photos with this post, including the top image, were made at the Cumberland WM station.

As I was photographing the watering of the tender (seen below), a voice to my left asked if I was getting good photos.

The voice was again very familiar. It belonged to Akron Railroad Club member Dennis Sautters, of North Canton, who had just arrived in town. He told me he would be riding behind the 1309 on Sunday in dome car Stampede Pass.

Dennis also said he had just come from riding the Potomac Eagle. Before that he had been at Cass Scenic Railroad Park in West Virginia

On Sunday morning the Amtrak website showed that the eastbound Capitol Limited was running on time.

We were already checked out of the hotel and drove to the Amtrak station, located a short distance from the hotel, on the ex-Baltimore & Ohio mainline.

No. 30 arrived at 9:19 a.m. I had no idea that I would be happily surprised when I saw the “bloody nose” on the point.

It was my first time seeing P42DC Phase 1 heritage unit No. 161, which is the replacement for the 156 Phase I heritage unit.

While we were here we heard the horns of the Pumpkin Train arriving at the Western Maryland station across town.

We had plenty of time to see it before its departure at 9:30 a.m.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

A Weekend That Exceeded Expectations: Part 2

October 25, 2022

I continue with my chasing Chesapeake & Ohio 2-6-6-2 No. 1309 on the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad adventure of Oct. 22.

After making photographs at Helmstetter’s Curve, we headed for Woodcock Hollow. This location is also on a horseshoe curve.

With the railroad on an uphill climb, the 1309’s stack talk was heard for several minutes before its arrival as seen in the top image.

The next three images show the train after its arrival in Frostburg, Maryland.

In the first photo below you can see Akron Railroad Club member Dave Shepherd on the right.

Photos three and four show my former brother-in-law and his son Own enjoying the steamer.

The plan was to have a nice leisurely lunch in LaVale. We did at the Ruby Tuesday restaurant. After lunch we drove back to Helmstetter’s Curve to see the departure of the 2 p.m. Pumpkin Train as shown in photo five.

The photo at Helmstetter’s Curve is the return departure of at 2:45 p.m.

We then walked the bike path the quarter-mile to West Helmstetter’s to await the return of the steam train.

During our relaxing wait we saw a continuous passing of bikers, joggers, hikers, mothers with children and strollers, and also railfan heading to Brush Tunnel.

Photos six through nine are the excursion shortly before 4 p.m. We then started back to the car at Helmstetter’s.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

A Weekend That Exceeded Expectations: Part 1

October 24, 2022

A few weeks ago my former brother-in-law Karl and his son, my nephew Owen, became available for a railfan adventure the weekend of Oct. 22-23.

Our destination would be Cumberland, Maryland, to see the Chesapeake & Ohio 2-6-6-2 No. 1309 on the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad.

We departed Geneva at 6:45 a.m. on Saturday.

Our destination was Helmstetter’s Curve, which we hoped to reach in time to photograph the arrival of the first Pumpkin Patch train of the day that would have departed Cumberland at 10 a.m. We arrived at Helmstetter’s at 10:15 a.m. and set up at the cemetery overlook.

A few minutes later one other car pulled up next to ours. From a distance as they got out of their car I noticed they looked very familiar.

To my surprise they were Akron Railroad Club members Don Woods and Dave Shepherd. After exchanging greetings, we heard horns. The photograph above is the arrival of the Pumpkin Patch train.

After getting our photos, I suggested to Karl that we head to Ridgeley, West Virginia. My thinking was that the 1309 would have to be there to wait for the return of the Pumpkin train.

I was correct and the next three images were made at Ridgeley.

We then drove to a spot in the Narrows. The steam train would be about a half hour behind its scheduled 11:30 a.m. departure from Ridgeley. It would depart the Cumberland station about noon.

The next photo is at the Narrows at about 12:08 p.m. followed by photos made at Helmstetter’s Curve at 12:25 p.m. Part 2 of the series will continue to Frostburg.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

Benefit Raises Money for PRR Steam Restoration

October 18, 2022

One famous steam locomotive made a special excursion last weekend to raise money for the restoration of another well-known steamer.

Chesapeake & Ohio 2-6-6-2 No. 1309 pulled an evening dinner train on the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad to raise money for the restoration of Pennsylvania Railroad Class K4S No. 1361.

The excursion raised more than $13,000 for the restoration of the PRR 4-6-2, which is currently housed at the Railroaders Memorial Museum in Altoona, Pennsylvania.  

During the nine-car excursion from Cumberland to Frostburg, Maryland, the 1309 carried a former Pennsy three-chime passenger whistle.

The money raised during the excursion came from ticket sales and an on-board silent auction of photographs and other railroad memorabilia.

For more information and to view photographs of the excursion, visit https://www.trains.com/trn/news-reviews/news-wire/western-maryland-scenic-no-1309-powers-benefit-train-for-altoona-museum/

WMSR to Hold Fundraising Trip for PRR 1361

August 18, 2022

A fundraising trip will be held Oct. 14 on the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad to raise money toward the restoration of Pennsylvania Railroad K4s class steam locomotive No. 1361.

The 4-6-2 is being restored to operating condition by the Railroaders Memorial Museum of Altoona, Pennsylvania.

The fundraising excursion will be pulled by Chesapeake & Ohio Railway 2-6-6-2 engine No. 1309, which for the occasion will sport the No. 1361’s three-chime PRR Blue Ribbon whistle.

Capacity of the excursion has been set at 200 passengers and tickets are $361 per person.

The excursion will travel the 16-mile route from Cumberland to Frostburg, Maryland.

As part of the event, there will be a pre-departure reception, night photo shoots, raffles for cab rides, a cash bar and live music.

Attendees will have the opportunity to visit the cab of the 1309 and blow the whistle. More information and ticket information can be found at www.wmsr.com.

The 1361 was built by the PRR in its Juniata Shops in Altoona in 1918. Its restoration is expected to cost $2.6 million.

For several years the 1361 was on static display at Horseshoe Curve west of Atoona. It was removed by the museum and restored to operating condition in the late 1980s.

PRR T1 Steam Whistle to be Used on WMSR

June 13, 2022

A former Pennsylvania Railroad steam locomotive whistle will be used on Western Maryland Scenic Railroad trains pulled on June 18 and 19 by former Chesapeake & Ohio 2-6-6-2 No. 1309.

The whistle was once used on a PRR T1 steam locomotive and is being loaned to the WMSR by the Pennsylvania Railroad T1 Trust, which is seeking to create a T1 locomotive, to be numbered No. 5550.

In an email announcement, the Trust group said some of its members will be present to discuss the project and answer questions about it.

The T1 whistle will be used by the WMSR tourist trains leaving from Cumberland, Maryland.

The 1309 was recently restored to operating condition by the WMSR and it seeing its first season of operation this year.

C&O 1309 Running in the Rail

May 9, 2022

Last weekend I went to catch the inaugural runs for 2022 of former Chesapeake & Ohio 2-6-6-2 No. 1309 on the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad. The Mallet-type locomotive had done a couple of runs in February but those were charters. The 1309 is a Baldwin built for the C&O in 1949.

The weather was to put it mildly terrible with rain sometimes heavy the entire weekend. I had even considered cancelling because of this but I went anyhow and got some great photos regardless.

Here are a few. The top image shows the 1309 climbing Helmstetter’s curve. That is followed by the train coming into the Cumberland [Maryland] station, climbing the grade to Frostburg [Maryland] and then at the Frostburg station.

Article and Photographs by Todd Dillon

Looking Forward to Seeing it in Steam This Year

January 11, 2022

I’m looking forward to visiting the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad in Cumberland, Maryland, this year to ride behind and photograph Chesapeake & Ohio 2-6-6-2 No. 1309.

Back on May 22, 1988, I visited the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore. At that time several locomotives were being sandblasted to be readied for a fresh painting.

The 1309 was in that group. It never crossed my mind that it would someday be restored. Hopefully this spring or summer I will be able to update this post.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

C&O 1309 Makes Another Successful Test Run

December 10, 2021

Former Chesapeake & Ohio 2-6-6-2 made a test run this week that officials said was trouble free and clears the way for the locomotive to pull Polar Express trains next week on the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad.

WMSR general manager Wesley Heinz told a newspaper published in Cumberland, Maryland, that some adjustments to the 1309 will be made before it begins revenue service between Cumberland and Frostburg.

Additional test runs are expected to be made next week as well.

Heinz said the tourist railroad has sold 22,000 Polar Express tickets this year with all tickets for the Dec. 17 through 19 excursions having been sold.